Vikings' Adrian Peterson probable Sunday to face Giants

ByBen Goessling ESPN logo
Friday, December 25, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS --Adrian Petersonsaid all week his sprained left ankle wouldn't keep him out of Sunday night's game against theNew York Giants.After Peterson got back on the practice field on Friday,itappeared the NFL's leading rusher is ready to go.

Peterson was a full participant in practice on Friday, after missing the first two days of practice this week, and was listed as probable for Sunday night's game against the Giants. The running back, who was injured during the second quarter of the Vikings' win over theChicago Bearson Sunday, returned to the game in the third quarter, and a league source said on Monday that testsshowed no damage to Peterson's ankle.

The running back said Wednesday he was confident he'd return for Sunday's game, in which the Vikings can secure a shot at the NFC North title with a win. The Vikings' defense should get a boost, as well, with safetyHarrison Smith and linebacker Anthony Barrset to return from injuries that kept the pair out for the Vikings' previous two games. Defensive tackleLinval Josephis alsoprobable to return from a foot injurythat's kept him out for the past three games, and defensive endEverson Griffenis probable to play after seeing a reduced role because of a shoulder injuryon Sunday.

The Vikings can clinch a playoff spot with anAtlanta Falcons loss or Seattle Seahawkswin on Sunday, and they could be assured of a chance to win the NFC North -- no matter what they do Sunday night -- if theGreen Bay Packerslose in Arizona on Sunday afternoon. Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer said he would consider resting a few injured players on Sunday night if the Vikings have alreadyclinched a playoff spot and a shot at the division title before they play, but he said he wouldn't sit players "wholesale."

"We're planning on, if guys are ready to play, playing them," he said Thursday.